I go off into the world bursting with the potential to personally undergo and affect change. That’s what people say.
I was unsure of a lot this past year, specifically whether to go to college. However, these past eleven days have done a lot to renew my faith in my chosen peers and program. Grand flowery statements have been replaced by straightforward illustrations of practical possibilities, and two heads of massive NGO’s have separately told me that eventually I’m going to screw up and feel worthless and have to just push through it if I’m going to get anywhere. I truly appreciate people having the respect to be genuine with me— their treating me like an adult permits me to attack the adult-sized challenges that are fast approaching with some gusto and confidence.
Let me explain my own road to reassurance. Kiva makes a loan every 11 seconds. $160,000,000 dollars has passed through that office. They’ve helped literally millions of people lift themselves out of poverty and become financially independent. And they’ve done it all from a couple of tiny rooms in San Francisco—plastic block letters beckon into an office where fake mustaches and joke Thunderdome film references plaster the walls, where dogs run past couches as under-dressed 30-year olds type away. Casual doesn’t quite cover the California feel of this office— but the young, unassuming guy wearing a shirt with a home-sewn insignia we talked with had managed to co-found an organization and change the world his way. A smart guy with a great idea, conviction and that’s it. Maybe I can do what I’m told I’m capable of after all. We’ll see.